A bright, fresh, classic Greek Salad recipe with a homemade Greek Salad Dressing. Made properly – which means no lettuce leaves and a simple, beautiful red wine vinegar dressing!
Aussies love Greek Salad. If the local fish and chip shop sells one fresh salad, it’s probably a Greek Salad. That’s how much we love it.
Did you know……Greek Salad as most people know it (and the way I make it) is not actually the real-deal authentic Greek way. The way the Greeks make it, feta is served in a block on top of the salad rather than chopped into cubes, and the salad is dressed with just plain extra virgin olive oil (Greek olive oil of course!), not a vinaigrette. I learned on this when I saw this Perfect Greek Salad from my friend Helen at Scrummy Lane (who is obsessed with all things Greek).
Crucify me if you wish, but I prefer Greek Salad made the more common way – with feta cut into cubes (easier to eat) and with a vinaigrette rather than just olive oil (I find just olive oil too rich). But I have no doubt that if (when!!!) I get to Greece, I will be converted to the traditional way.
Though perhaps I stray from the strictly authentic Greek salad, I am a stickler for a few other “rules” that I believe in to make a classic Greek Salad:
- No lettuce – by all means, throw lettuce in if you want, but a traditional Greek salad does not have either lettuce in it;
- Best produce you can get – of course it goes without saying, especially for simple recipes like this, please get the best quality produce you can afford; and
- Plump juicy black Kalamata olives with a deep almost black colour – jarred is fine, but if you go jarred, please get a good quality one! I made a Greek salad while I was in LA in May, and I made my friend Meggan from Culinary Hill drive me to 3 grocery stores before I finally found olives I was happy with!! Not kidding! I finally found these Delallo Kalamata Olives from Ralph’s.
Though this is not a strictly authentic Greek Salad recipe, it is the way it is served at restaurants in Western countries.
Arguably one of the brightest and fresh salads around, it also happens to be one of the fastest to make because there’s no tedious chopping – I love that everything is cut into big chunks!! – Nagi x
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- 3 tomatoes (size of a tennis ball)
- 4 Lebanese / Persian cucumbers (about 8"/20cm long)
- ½ small red onion (size of a tennis ball)
- 1 small green capsicum / bell pepper
- 250g/8oz feta block
- 5.5oz/125g black kalamata olives (Note 2)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced (about ½ tsp minced garlic)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp salt (or ½ tsp Kosher salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek!)
- Place Greek Salad Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined. Set aside for 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse.
- Tomatoes: Cut each tomato into 6 wedges, then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces. If the tomato is watery, scoop out the watery seeds inside with a teaspoon.
- Cucumbers: Slice the cucumber into ½cm / ⅕" thick slices. Or if they are thick cucumbers, slice the cucumber in half vertically, then slice.
- Onion: Peel and finely slice the red onion. I keep it in rings - you could cut it in half then slice. (Note 2)
- Capsicum: Cut into short strips.
- Feta: Cut into 1cm / 2/5" cubes.
- Place the tomato, cucumber, onion, feta and olives in a bowl, sprinkle with oregano then pour over dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately!
The blacker the olive, the better! Fresh black olives in olive oil purchased over the counter at delis are best, but otherwise, get a good quality olive pre packaged olives. Look for olives that look plump and are a dark black colour - you will notice that many in the jars have lost some of their colour.
When I was in LA, I drove my friend crazy going from store to store until I found olives I thought were good enough!! I finally found Delallo olives which are great quality pre packaged olives.
In Australia, good quality plump Kalamata olives can be purchased at all the main supermarkets.
2. If you don't like the rawness of red onion (noting that red onion is not as sharp as other onions), place the sliced onions in a bowl of water for 15 minutes or so. This will soften the sharpness of the onion.
Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. If you use low fat feta, it reduces a bit down to 300 calories per serving.